‘He was a fantastic horse in every way’: top dressage sire dies aged 20

  • Top dressage sire Dimaggio has died aged 20.

    The hugely influential stallion — whose offspring includes British team horse Half Moon Delphi — was put down today (Monday 14 December).

    As a five-year-old, the Don Primero x World Cup I son was crowned world champion at the World young horse breeding championships – the first British-owned horse ever to win the prestigious accolade.

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    “Very sadly we had to have Dimaggio put to sleep this morning,” Sussex-based owner Suzanne Lavandera told H&H.

    “He was a fantastic horse in every way — he had endless talent, was enthusiastic and has left a legacy. Goodbye and thank you.”

    Dimaggio battled laminitis, so never competed beyond intermediate I, but plenty of his offspring became successful grand prix contenders, including Half Moon Delphi, who was on the silver medal-winning British team with Michael Eilberg at last year’s World Equestrian Games.

    Dimaggio is also the dam-sire of Woodlander Farouche, the only other British-owned horse to win at the World young horse championships.

    Michael — rider of both Half Moon Delphi and Farouche’s dam Woodlander Dornroschen, as well as Farouche herself — said: “I’ve had a quite a few Dimaggio offspring and always liked him as a sire.

    “He produces a huge variety of horses, not all the same type, but I’ve got on well with lots of them, including Half Moon Dynasty, who I hope will go grand prix next year.

    “The Dimaggios can sometimes be tricky to start with, but that later turns into specialness. And they all have really good, correct basic gaits.”

    The Eilbergs also own the full-sister to Dornroschen, a chestnut colt by Dimaggio out of the Caprimond mare Claire.

    Dimaggio had been standing at Böckmann Stud in Germany for the past few years, where he was still popular with breeders.

    As well as his Britain-based stallion sons Woodlander Del Amitri and Treliver Decanter and Pippa Hutton’s grand prix mare Duela, Dimaggio has 77 offspring currently competing in British Dressage — more than any other sire.

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